Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

2013 and here I am

with 3 comments

Hullo to everyone and best wishes for the year ahead . My apologies for being late in posting news on this site but the truth is I am feeling a little jaded and have been, since the beginning of January.

This will scare the kids

This will scare the kids

I have included a terrible photo of my head and nose that should explain why news of my treatments, ( Yes it is now treatments plural) have been slow in being published. To put it simply “I am feeling pretty lousy lately” and I do not expect it to become any better for a few more weeks.I completed the radiation therapy for the prostate cancer on the 20th December and was due to report back with news and advice to this site as soon as I was able. However while I was being treated I was also referred to a dermatologist here at the Sunshine Coast in regard to my many unresolved skin cancers. The dermatologist removed almost twenty of them but my nose was a problem. I have had several previous surgery procedures over many years on my nose, the most recent surgery and skin graft in June 2011. This surgery has been unsuccessful and my nose it seems is one huge BCC. My options had been narrowed to complete amputation followed by a prosthetic nose or radiation therapy. Guess what I chose?????

I begun radiation treatment on my nose at the beginning of January just two weeks after completing radiation treatment on my prostate cancer. At this time of writing I am half way through the 30 sessions needed and I am feeling pretty ordinary. I will finish treatment on the 19th February which means I have spent almost 4 months away from home receiving radiation treatment at the Sunshine Coast Queensland. My time here has been great, the area is a sub tropical paradise with much to see and do. The accommodation has been first class with a two bedroom two bathroom apartment overlooking the Maroochydore River and Beach. However I have had enough and want to go home.

I had a PSA blood test done today, which is the first since July last year and should be a marker for me on how the IMRT stuff has gone as it is over a month since I completed the prostate treatment. I will be publishing the second part of radiation treatment for anyone interested in due time as soon as I have the PSA results and when I am feeling OK.

For those that may be interested, the treatment for the BCC on the nose has caused the following effects.

The whole nose, cheek and eye areas are inflamed and swollen.

The cancerous areas have been revealed and are clearly visible as crater like sores with scabs that keep lifting.

The nose is bleeding from time to time, both on the outside and inside.

The eyes are swollen, painful and itchy. I am trying to treat them with special drops. Keeping them open in any sort of glare is nigh impossible. They cement shut each night and need to be sliced open each morning.

I have special bedding sheets and pillow slips that need to be serviced daily.

Otherwise everything else is just fine and dandy, If anyone would like specific information on the radiation treatment for faces and noses let me know and I will be happy to pass on my experiences to them.

The radiation people here in Nambour have assured me that my nose will turn out OK and I will be suprised at how well it should look. I can only look forward to that.


Lee aka Popeye


Written by Lee

30 January 2013 at 6:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. Sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. It isn’t something anyone should have to go through.
    Please know even though we are so far away, you are never far from our thoughts or prayers. Xo

    Megan Oliver

    30 January 2013 at 7:11 am

  2. Could you please give me more info on the radiation treatment on your nose. As I am going to be needing the same

    Shirley brown

    19 April 2013 at 7:05 pm

    • Hi Shirley:The radiation treatment on my nose has been really successful. It is the best the nose has been in twenty years and I wonder why they did not offer it to me twenty years back, it would have prevented all the disfiguring surgery.

      They create a face mask for you out of a webbing type plastic and mold it to fit your face. This is in the planning stage. This mask is then used every treatment and locks the head in position on a table.

      You do not feel any thing during treatment but you may, like me, experience a flash of blue light in each eye as they do both sides one after the other. This light is caused by the radiation exciting a nerve that sits near the top of your nose on both sides and extends down the nostril. the light flashes and then dissipates quickly.

      The nose becomes red and painful and most of the cancerous parts become obvious and will bleed a little. I used special made up pillow cases and protectors my wife made for me and I used a couple of old sheets on the bed as well.

      The inside of the nose becomes becomes agravated and will bleed sometimes quite freely as treatment progresses. I found vasoline applied by cotton buds was the best treatment to lubricate the nose and help in cleaning it out as clots will form in the nose.

      Depending on the margins that the radiologist sets, you may have some effects in the eyes. In my case the margins were very close to the corner of the eyes and I suffered what can only be described as “sandy blight” caused by the radiation just catching the edge of the eyes. This was a nuisance as I could not stand any glare at all and my eyes were always red, dry and itchy. I used special drops the radiologist prescribed that helped enormously.

      The treatment was daily mon to frid for 6 weeks. From about week 5 healing had set in a bit. and after completion took about a month for it to look this good. I now have to be careful and in my case use sun block like zinc when I am in the sun. I have lost all my nose hairs so have to be careful around dusty places and make sure I use a mask when sanding timber. I have also lost most of my moustache but otherwise I am pleased with the result. Also the radiologist warned me I might have a slight pigment colouration difference with the nose when treatment was finished however this has not ocurred and my nose is the same colouration as the rest of my face. This treatment has been so worth the effort as the alternative was amputation.
      Lee aka Popeye


      20 April 2013 at 9:23 am

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